Sometimes real life gets in the way of fantasy sports, so the Tuesday Top Ten will have to be the Thursday Top Ten this week. It was a rough week for NFL quarterbacks which could wreak havoc on your fantasy team as we head into Week 11 of the NFL season. Fantasy football playoffs are just a couple weeks away, so now is the time to make your move and get in position for a championship run. Without further adieu, let’s get into the top ten headlines for Week 11.
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10. Princess Cassel– Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel is likely done for the season with a broken hand. If he was your regular starting quarterback in your fantasy football league, then chances are you aren’t competing for a playoff berth. But if for some reason you are, then you should be looking to make a trade because Cassel will not help you anymore. He will miss a chance to go up against his former team and mentor this Monday night, but the bigger picture is that he is no longer a fantasy option in any capacity. This will have a detrimental effect on the Chiefs’ solid core of receivers including Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jon Baldwin.
9. Shuffle off to Buffalo.– The Bills surprised everyone this year starting off fast and being competitive in the AFC East. However, they now look like they remembered they are the Buffalo Bills. Early season fantasy darlings Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, and Stevie Johnson have all come back to earth. Now may be the time to trade off some of these players while they still have value because the trends are not good for them. It is one thing if Fitzpatrick is your quarterback on your fantasy team, but the Bills just signed him to a five-year contract extension earlier this season. Can we say non-guaranteed contract???
8. DeMarco…Polo! – Cowboys’ rookie running back DeMarco Murray sure looks like the real deal after putting up better numbers over a four game stretch than Emmitt Smith ever did. Murray has explosive speed and great pass-catching ability. He looks like a real stud and is making Felix Jones look irrelevant by the time he returns. Dallas may split the carries when he does come back, but Murray has earned the chance to lead the way. Because his production may get diminished somewhat, he is someone to consider using as trade bait. This is also because he is a rookie and we don’t know for sure whether he can or will sustain this level of success.
7. Remember the Titan– Finally, Chris Johnson has come back to fantasy football relevance. He arguably had his best game of the season this past week racking 130 yards and scoring a touchdown. This is a great sign for CJ2K who has been a complete bust all season. If he can get hot now, that would be the equivalent of making a huge trade before the fantasy football playoffs. It will take another week or two before we can officially say he is back, but this was a great sign and could be a difference maker in your league. He is still a buy low candidate, so take the chance on him if you can pry him away.
6. Is it 1985? – I admittedly don’t talk much about special teams and defense, but it is worth noting that the Chicago Bears defense/special teams have put up some crooked numbers this year. Besides having Devin Hester who is always a threat to run a punt or kickoff back for a touchdown, the Bears defense racked up the defensive touchdowns this week against Detroit. It is usually a crapshoot when it comes to getting defensive points, but the Bears are one of the top options if you can get them. It gives you an edge in an area that most people don’t pay much attention to.
5. Brady’s Bunch – It is time to proclaim Rob Gronkowski as the best tight end in fantasy football. The guy is one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets and catches everything thrown his way. He is a great target in the end zone and is a beast to bring down. He is racking up the receptions and yardage the way Tony Gonzalez did earlier in his career. The Patriots also have Aaron Hernandez on the other side of the line, but Gronkowski has proven that he is the best target out there for Brady.
4. Wrong Vincent – One of the most frustrating fantasy players to own is Vincent Jackson of the Chargers. One week after catching three touchdowns, he was basically invisible in last Thursday’s game against Oakland. Instead, Vincent Brown stepped up and was Philip Rivers favorite target. It is impossible to predict how Jackson will be used or how effective he will be from week to week. Chances are you spent an early round draft pick on him so you have play him, but it is questionable how much production you will get when he is barely even thrown to some games. Ugh.
3. A Fresh Bush – Remember Reggie Bush? Yeah, the guy who used to date Kim Kardashian and is in a commercial where he gets traded for a pizza. Bush is also a former Heisman Trophy winner and former #2 overall draft pick with lots of hype. He has been a bust for most of his NFL career, but over the past few weeks he has looked like a premiere running back for the Miami Dolphins. He broke off a couple 100 yard games and has been scoring rushing touchdowns at a clip we have never seen in his NFL career. Bush is becoming a solid fantasy option, especially at the flex position. Miami has won a couple games now and they should continue trying to pound the Bush.
2. Spreading Eagles – The Dream Team that is 3-6 is suffering from a myriad of injuries and disciplinary issues from some key players. Michael Vick sustained two broken ribs in Philadelphia’s loss to Arizona in Week 10. Vick’s status for this week’s game against the Giants is uncertain, but he has been known to play through injuries all season. This could be problematic for Vick because the Giants have played him very physically the past couple years and generate tremendous pressure from their defensive line. Jeremy Maclin is also questionable with multiple injuries, so Jason Avant and Steve Smith could see more targets.
1. Houston, we have a problem. – There are a select few elite fantasy quarterbacks out there. We all know who they are – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers (maybe). If you didn’t get one of those guys in your fantasy draft, then one of the top second tier options was the Texans’ Matt Schaub. He is more than a serviceable fantasy quarterback and was likely taken in the 5th-6th round, so you probably have good players at other key positions. Now Schaub’s season is in jeopardy as he sustained a broken bone in his foot. There are conflicting reports as to how long he may be out, but it is clear he will be gone for the foreseeable future. Houston has a bye this week and has the AFC South all but locked up, so they won’t rush him back unnecessarily. If your league’s trade deadline hasn’t passed yet, you should be packaging some players together to get a quarterback. And no, adding Matt Leinart is not a good idea.
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